YEAH! Summer is here – about time! Summer officially began June 21.
No more snow, no more ice, no more below zero temperatures, no more winter coats, no more…. But, then this is Ohio, isn’t it? So, even if this summer is a great time, wait a bit and the weather will change again. Summer is officially upon us, but summer only lasts a little while before another fall, winter and spring! It is normal for seasons to shift and life to change.
And yet, we struggle to learn, to take it to heart - that change is normal. Not that we have to like all change, but change is a normal part of life, to be sure and can be a source of life.
No time is perfect - when things like summer come we wallow in all its accouterments – the sun, warmth, flowers, crops, etc., etc. but then, the heat can be horrendous at times, the humidity no fun, the mosquitoes, bees and wasps are a pain, and the poison ivy and other growths not fun, etc., etc.…! Along with the joy of a new season, change still has its plusses and minuses. Change is normal. And, while the exact details vary, the basic flow remains.
Summer, actually, like any season, is a good reflection of life. For, any moment is truly a mix of good and bad, as is all of life. And yet, a part of us, seems to like to believe that life is not a mix. Life truly is a mix, no matter what the season.
And, at least we know here in Ohio, it varies constantly – you’d think we’d get used to that but we seem to never do so. It remains a struggle to believe that variables, changes, and all that we need to adjust to, is normal. And, while some of those changes are not fun or may not be pleasant, with the Lord we can still get through them and find new life.
Many even try and avoid it all by blaming God for the seasons and the variables of life as if everything is a test from God, when in truth all life is sacred, and even normal shifts and changes in life can be a source of new life.
Life has its ups and downs, and everything in between, to be sure. This is not to excuse any of it, nor to avoid the call to do things that may help stabilize our lives, but life changes and we need not only to recognize that constant but seek to notice the Lord’s presence at all times, and not just when we are comfortable.
There are moments of birth and of death, moments of good health and disease, moments of peace and war, of graduation and of failure, of good deeds and of sin. Life is “all the above” and not just one or the other. What a difference when we recognize the mix of life and share it with others, and especially with the Lord. It is not about “fixing” it, or only “clearing out” the dark sides, but of walking together in the light, a light that shines in the ups and downs.
From Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 to John 1:1-18, and everything in between, life shifts and changes and yet the Lord is always there - the Lord is the constant – even though others, and we as well, often do not notice his presence or choose not to be so constant ourselves.
So, as summer is with us, enjoy the summer, enjoy the outdoors, enjoy the…but, beware, it will change (and not too long down the road). The key is not getting too “used” to the way things are, or the way we wish them to be, but to enjoy what is here, and keep an open heart to what may be coming.
Much like life, things change – and, while we can control a few things, it is not many. The key is not to seek “control” but getting through it together with the Lord. What a difference all seasons make when we know we are not alone and that one is with us who makes all the difference in the world.
Take time to notice where the Lord has been with you, and is with you – and give thanks. Let us learn and trust that he will be with us no matter what the weather may be, no matter what the circumstance of life will be, no matter what changes come our way, or need to happen. When the Lord is with us, all things are possible. Notice his presence with you at all times – in all the seasons and the changes and the mix of life.
Fr. John E. Krumm is the Pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church in Xenia and guest columnist.